Thursday, February 17, 2011

Communicate with your Outsource SEO Staff

Lack of communication is seen as one of the biggest threats to outsourcing. A study spearheaded by one of the world’s most popular outsourcing SEO services providers revealed that countless firms end up not getting the best from leveraging competencies simply because of communication gap between the entrepreneurs and the service provider.

Here’s what normally happens when a firm closes an engagement with a third party provider: When outsourcing deals are made, a lot of people does not seem to know and could not even track progress of such deal. Stakeholders from both parties, the service provider and the entrepreneur, tend to have no idea how the project started. For instance, it is usually the corporate head that sees the feasibility of leveraging competencies; the CEO would later disclose the idea to the CIO who might eventually divulge the prospect to the human resource department of the company. In a sense, the idea of delegating tasks to any onshore or offshore location actually goes through a lot of people who understands and translates the idea differently. And more often than not, such pattern results in not getting the kind of service and benefits that a company head actually has in mind.

In view of this, a company who delegates tasks to third party providers has to see to it that there is open communications from all stakeholders concerned. On-shoring or offshoring deals should not be viewed and treated as a hand-off where ideas are passed on to others. Instead, it should be seen as an endeavor of the entire firm. As an outsourcing analyst puts it, leveraging business competencies should not be a private exchange between two corporate heads but a team dialogue of all concerned parties.

The executive who initiated an outsourcing deal may not at all be active in the project itself. But just the same, such professional has to be kept in the communication loop. Top executives need to be well-informed about the day-to-day progress of the project and has to have access to updated documents. It is also essential that both parties keep good documentation of the deal.

A study conducted by a top notch SEO consultation services provider reveals that well documented deals tend to produce better results. Good and high level documentation enhances strategic value of the business engagement. This is primarily because essential goals like cost-savings are well-appropriated without looking past other concerns such as time-to-market issues.

Reality bites, though. Several researches on leveraging competencies reveal that a large chunk of firms who delegate their tasks are focused on reducing expenditures. The study further disclosed that only a handful of these outsourcing companies keep good communication lines with their hired outsource SEO staff.

Fortunately, there have been several changes on the attitudes of many companies these days. A survey involving 1,900 entrepreneurs showed that while many companies turn to third party movers for cost savings, more business owners now outsource to further improve their overall business strategy.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Top 10 Risks of Offshore Outsourcing

1. Cost-reduction expectations.
Many entrepreneurs tend to assume that labor arbitrage will yield savings comparable to person-to-person comparison. In reality, companies can only expect to save at least 15-25% during the first year; 35-40% by the third year is the company decodes to “go up the learning curve” and modify strategies to align to an offshore model.

2. Data security protection.
Vendors should have sufficiently robust security practices. Apparently, not all BPO offshore outsourcing firms offer impressive security practices. In this case, it is essential that privacy concerns are raised and addressed before you eventually make a deal with any vendor.

3. Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
The CMM helps measure the readiness of a company to adopt an offshore model.

4. Loss of business knowledge.
Business owners need to identify which business knowledge may be moved to either outside the company or an offshore location in order not to compromise the company practices.

5. Vendor failure to deliver.
Failure to deliver products and services occur at times. If your targeted company is at high-risk of vendor failure, perhaps you should try to shift your outsourcing strategy. For example, you can move from one single vendor to multiple vendors.

6. Scope creep.
Fixed-price contracts in outsourcing do not really exist. Rates of offshore outsource solutions tend to change by at least 10-15% throughout the development cycle.

7. Government oversight/ regulation
Some companies are subject to various degrees of government oversight. Ensure that you choose an offshore outsource solution provider that is sensitive to industry-specific requirements. It is also important that you select a vendor that provides sufficient “transparency”.

8. Culture.
Most vendors require and provide their dedicated outsource staff to undergo cultural education programs. Call center agents, for instance, are usually provided accent training so they can communicate better. However, these trainings are not always enough. In that sense, settle with an outsourced staff that who understands fully your own culture.

9. Turnover of key personnel.
The impact of high turnover causes indirect loss to an outsourcing firm. In this case, find a provider who would be liable for every hired dedicated outsource staff that needs to be replaced.

10. Knowledge transfer.
Technical and business knowledge transfer from the vendor to the outsourcing company needs to be accounted for. Entrepreneurs can do this by using innovative solutions such as deploying video conferencing. Video conferencing eliminates the need to travel and creating one-to-many transfers. This also helps business owners save money on BPO offshore outsourcing.